January 10, 2009 - Protest Rally
Protest Israeli Massacre of Palestinians in Gaza!
Israeli Troops Out of Gaza Now!
Organized by various Palestinian solidarity groups
Adala - Arab Justice Committee, Al-Awda - Vancouver, Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign, Canadian Arab Federation - National, Canada Palestine Association - Vancouver, Canadians Against War, Canadian Islamic Congress BC, Canadian Muslim Union, Canpalnet, Code Pink Women for Peace (local chapter), Independent Jewish Voices (Canada), Indigenous Action Movement, Jews for a Just Peace - Vancouver,No One Is Illegal-Vancouver, Palestinian Islamic League - Canada, Salaam -Vancouver, Siraat Collective, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights - University of British Columbia, StopWar Coalition, Muslim Canadian Federation - Vancouver, Students for a Democratic Society (UBC), The Organizing Centre for Social and Economic Justice, Vancouver Socialist Forum, Voice of Palestine - Vancouver, Indigenous Rights and Action Project, Fire This Time Newspaper, Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba, and Mobilization Against War and Occupation
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January 10 Rally Report
Over the last two weeks, Israel’s latest offensive against Palestinians has intensified, with ongoing bombings and thousands of ground troops invading Gaza. This massacre has killed over 800 people, nearly half of them women and children. Over 3100 have been wounded, and hundreds of thousands more have no access to food, water, medicine and electricity to survive.
But even as Israel intensifies this massacre, international condemnation of Israel’s genocide of Palestinian people is also growing. Around the world, hundreds of thousands of people are protesting Israel’s war and in support of the Palestinian people and their right to self-determination. And while the governments of Canada and the US, among others, have wholeheartedly supported Israel’s massacre of the Palestinian people, the governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia have condemned it, and the Venezuelan Government recently expelled the Israeli ambassador from Venezuela in a show of solidarity with the Palestinian people.
But while the government of Canada is supporting Israel’s war, people across Canada are on the streets protesting it. On Saturday January 10th, over 800 people filled the streets of Vancouver protesting Israel’s criminal and inhuman massacre in Gaza. The protest was organized at the Vancouver Art Gallery by Palestinian solidarity groups in the city. Throughout the protest there were many chants including “End the Siege on Gaza Now”, and “Occupation is a Crime from Iraq to Palestine.”
There were many speakers including those from the Palestinian, Arab, Indigenous and progressive community. They included the Sikandar Khan, President of the BC Muslim Association, Reem Al-Nuweiri of the International Solidarity Movement, Fatemah Meghji from the Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights at the University of British Columbia, Omar Shaban, Vice-President of the Canadian Arab Federation and Eva Bartlett, an activist with the International Solidarity Movement who spoke directly from Gaza about Israel’s crimes there. The protest also included music from the Solidarity Notes Choir. Following these speakers, protestors marched through downtown Vancouver. Even through the freezing sleet, energy remained high and chants of “Free, Free Palestine” were louder than ever.
In Vancouver and around the world, protests continue to demand an end to this Israeli massacre of Palestinians and the right of the Palestinian people to a life of human dignity and free from occupation.